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Child, Family, School, and Community S ocialization and Support 6 th ed. Chapter Three Ecology of the Family. Family Systems. How many people do you know who fit into the classic definition of a family?

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child family school and community s ocialization and support 6 th ed

Child, Family, School, and CommunitySocialization and Support 6th ed.

Chapter ThreeEcology of the Family

family systems
Family Systems
  • How many people do you know who fit into the classic definition of a family?
  • Today there are more relationships that do not conform to the classic definition than do.
the primary agent of socialization
The Primary Agent of Socialization
  • Family systems’ theory views the family as a whole.
  • Classic definition—“a social group characterized by common residence, economic cooperation, and reproduction. It includes adults of both sexes, at least two of whom maintain a socially approved sexual relationship, and one or more children, owned or adopted, of the sexually cohabitating adults.”
an ecological model of human development
An Ecological Model of Human Development
  • The family is a primary influence on children’s development
family patterns
Family Patterns
  • The U.S. Bureau of the Census defines a family as “two or more persons related by birth, marriage, or adoption, who reside together.”
  • The changes in the family structure affect the functions/roles played by the family and its members thereby affecting the socialization of children.
basic structures
Basic Structures
  • Nuclear—consists of a husband, a wife, and their children.
    • Family oforientation: the family into which one is born.
    • Family ofprocreation: the family which develops when one marries and has children.
the nuclear family
The Nuclear Family

In the nuclear family, the wife and husband depend on each other for companionship, and the children depend on their parents for affection and socialization.

extended family
Extended Family

The extended familyincludes relatives of the nuclear family who are economically and emotionally dependent upon each other.

family structure
Family Structure
  • Matriarchal
    • Mother’s side emphasized
  • Patriarchal
    • Father’s side emphasized
  • Egalitarian
    • In the United States, both sides of the extended family are generally regarded as equal
basic functions
Basic Functions
  • The family performs certain functions that enable society to survive generation after generation.
    • These functions may vary widely.





family transitions
Family Transitions
  • Throughout history, family structure has altered to accommodate:
    • economic influences
    • social influences
    • political influences
    • technological influences (chronosystem)
structural changes
Structural Changes
  • Structural family changes can include:
    • the addition of family members due to:
      • birth
      • adoption
      • remarriage
      • relatives moving in
    • the removal of family members due to:
      • death
      • divorce
      • children becoming adults and moving out
family ties
Family Ties
  • Events that affect the socialization of children include:
    • divorce
    • single parenting
    • step parenting
  • Changes in family ties are reflected in:
    • the increase in divorce
    • the proportion of children living with only one parent
divorce and the family
Divorce and the Family
  • Divorce is blamed for:
    • the fragmentation of the family
    • diminished family functions
    • unrealistic expectations
    • role changes
    • the economic state of society
    • stress
    • changes in the law
divorce and children
Divorce and Children
  • Children’s reactions depend on:
    • the personalities involved
    • their own coping skills
    • their relations with their parents
    • the child’s age and gender
    • the level of disharmony prior to divorce
    • the availability of other people for emotional support
single parent custody
Single Parent Custody
  • Single parenthood can occur through:
    • death
    • divorce
    • desertion
    • births outside marriage
    • adoption without marriage
    • artificial insemination
father s absence
Father’s Absence
  • The affect on boys and girls depends on:
    • the age of the child at the time of separation from the father
    • the length of the father’s absence
    • the quality of the mother/father relationship prior to the separation
    • the availability of appropriate substitute male models
    • the emotional state of the mother during and after the separation
recommendations for community support of single parents
Recommendations for Community Support of Single Parents
  • Extend availability of daycare facilities.
  • Form babysitting cooperatives.
  • Make transportation available.
  • Provide classes on single parenthood.
  • Provide “Big Sister” / “Big Brother” programs.
joint custody
Joint Custody
  • A modern-day solution to the quandary facing many judges:
    • Which adult claimant should be given custody of the children?
  • Some nuclear families split by divorce are evolving into a new form, called the binuclear family, in which the children are part of two homes and two family groups.
kin custody
Kin Custody

An increasing number of children are being raised by relatives (kin) other than parents, the most common being grandparents raising grandchildren.

  • One out of three Americans is now a:
    • stepparent
    • stepchild
    • stepsibling
    • cohabitating member of a stepfamily
  • Because of the increase in the number of stepfamilies, the concept of family needs reexamining.
families of unmarried parents
Families of Unmarried Parents
  • Marriage is a legal contract with certain rights and obligations.
  • It is society’s institution for founding and maintaining families.
  • Unconventional families:
    • heterosexual adults who choose to live together without legal sanction
    • homosexual adults who cannot legally be married
families of adopted children
Families of Adopted Children
  • There are many reasons families adopt children, such as:
    • the inability to conceive
    • the desire to care for a child without the sanction of marriage
    • the desire to care for a child with special needs
    • the wish to make a foster care arrangement permanent
functional changes
Functional Changes
  • Throughout history, families have changed the ways they execute their various functions:
    • Reproduction
    • Socialization/ Education
    • Assignment of Social Roles
    • Economic Support
    • Nurturance/ Emotional Support

Such changes in family function are adaptations to microsystem influences such as economics, political ideology, and technology.

  • Technological changes have impacted family size.
  • Family size has decreased over the past century.


  • The socialization/education domain of the family has decreased over the past century.
  • Children were educated at home until public schools emerged in the middle of the 19th century.
assignment of social roles
Assignment of Social Roles
  • Social roles within the family are defined by which members perform what jobs and how authority is distributed.
    • Wife/Mother
    • Husband/Father
    • Children
    • Authority Patterns
economic support
Economic Support
  • The scope of responsibility for economic support for family members has changed as have their contributions to the family’s economy.
    • Dual-Earner Families
      • Two thirds of mothers with children younger than 6 work outside the home.
      • Mothers’ employment almost always improves the economic well-being of families.
      • Liabilities include reduced quality of care for children, “role overload”, and the sacrifice of social relationships.
nurturance emotional support
Nurturance/Emotional Support
  • Support for the young and old has remained fairly stable, but the range of caregiving has diminished.
  • The sick were cared for by their families, as were the elderly. Today, however, insurance plans cover long term costs of residential care facilities for the sick and elderly.
macrosystem influences on families socialization and children
Macrosystem Influences on Families, Socialization, and Children
  • Specific effects of macrosystems
    • SES (socioeconomic status)
    • Ethnic orientation
    • Religious orientation

and the ways in which they influence socialization provide insight into how larger contexts can impact family systems.

socioeconomic status
Socioeconomic Status
  • Achieved Status
    • education
    • occupation
    • income
    • place of residence
  • Ascribed Status
    • Family lineage
    • Gender
    • Birth order

Stratification of members determines an individual’s class.



  • looks to the present to guide behavior
  • responsive to change
  • achievement status


  • customs handed down from past generations to guide behavior
  • ascribed status for stratification
class descriptions
Class Descriptions
  • SES classes can be described in terms of averages
    • income
    • occupation
    • housing
    • education
    • social interactions
    • values

These defining criteria influence socialization.

social class structures in the us
Social Class Structures in the US

Some sociologists believe that, although differences in rank exist, true class lines cannot be drawn. An open society (US) permits upward and downward mobility.

Upper class
    • inherited wealth
    • family tradition of social prominence
    • emphasis on the extended family
    • patriarchal/matriarchal
  • Middle class
    • earn status by achievement (education or hard work)
    • emphasis on the nuclear family
    • egalitarian
Lower class
    • semiskilled and unskilled workers
    • emphasis on extended family
    • patriarchal
  • Under class
    • degree of hopelessness
    • stuck at the bottom
    • perceive themselves as having little chance
    • female-headed families, homeless, alcoholics, drug users, mentally ill, destitute elderly, illegal aliens, rural families etc.
ethnic orientation
Ethnic Orientation
  • Ethnicity is an attribute of membership in a group in which members continue to identify themselves by:
    • national origin
    • race
    • religion
    • physical attributes
    • cultural attributes

Ethnic orientation constitutes a macrosystem.

ethnic norms values
Ethnic Norms/Values
  • Ethnic orientation involves norms, the
    • rules
    • patterns
    • standards

that express cultural values and reflect how individuals are supposed to behave.

  • There are certain basic questions that all humans in all places and circumstances must answer.
religious orientation
Religious Orientation
  • Religion is a “unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things, uniting into a single moral community all those who adhere to those beliefs and practices.”
religion is a macrosystem
Religion is a Macrosystem
  • It influences:
    • gender roles
    • sexual behavior
    • patterns of marriage and divorce
    • birthrates
    • morals
    • attitudes
    • child-rearing

It also may affect people’s dress, dietary habits including alcohol consumption, health care, and social interactions including ethics.

functions of religion
Functions of Religion
  • Religion provides people with “ a way of facing the problems of ultimate and unavoidable frustrations of ‘evil’ and the generalized problem of meaning in some nonempirical sense, of finding some ultimate why.”

chronosystem influences on families socialization and children
Chronosystem Influences on Families, Socialization and Children
  • Families are at risk for becoming unhealthy or dysfunctional.
  • Chronosystem influences impacting the health of families include:
    • political changes
    • economic changes
    • technological changes
sociopolitical changes
Sociopolitical Changes
  • Those influencing family functioning include :
    • foreign policy regarding immigration and war
    • domestic policy regarding security and privacy issues
    • social services
  • All of us are affected in some way by the current geopolitical uncertainty.
economic changes
Economic Changes
  • The influences on family functioning may involve:
    • job uncertainty due to corporate maneuvering
    • the cost of living increasing
    • the erosion of employee benefits
  • Reduced levels of economic well-being have been found to increase parental stress.
technological changes
Technological Changes
  • Those influencing family functioning include:
    • designed obsolescence
    • things that enable “multitasking” and “instantaneousness”
    • “overscheduling”
    • multiple simultaneous activities
meeting the challenge of change family empowerment
Meeting the Challenge of Change: Family Empowerment
  • Change can produce stress.
  • The family is a dynamic system that has:
    • structure
    • functions
    • roles
    • authority patterns
  • The way the system operates and adapts to change affects the relationships within it.
family stress
Family Stress
  • Stressors other than death, illness, divorce, and relocation include the following:
    • Economics
    • Children’s behavior
    • Insufficient couple time
    • Lack of shared responsibility
    • Communication problems
    • Insufficient “me” time
    • Guilt for not accomplishing more
    • Spousal relationships
    • Insufficient family play time
    • Over scheduled family calendars
functional families
Functional Families
  • Studies have shown that functional families who are resilient to stress display:
    • Love and acceptance
    • Communicativeness
    • Cohesiveness
    • Communication of values and standards
    • Ability to cope effectively with problems
  • Empowerment involves enabling individuals to gain control over resources affecting them.